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chadadanielleKR
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Re: THE JUNGLE : Applied Socialism in Kibbutzim -additional info



Choisya wrote:
Thanks a lot Danielle for this - very interesting. I love the idea of playing classical music to cows - did they have preferences?:smileyhappy: Did you find it a happy experience and was life on the Kibbutz generally pleasant? How did the children fare being brought up in a communal environment? I know similar much smaller communities here where everyone seems happy and the children do well. I applied to join an Israeli kibbutz in the 1960s after my divorce but at that time they did not take divorcees or single women.

Life in a Kibbutz was rather pleasant as long as you like living in a village like atmosphere: same people to talk to, to work with, to eat with and to meet days and nights. Many adults and many children don't mind but some resent it. Especially some children who can't stand living with their peers all the time,which was the idea at the turn of the century. All children, even babies had to live together in children house so that their parents would be free to work during the day and to meet in the evening. Some studied showed that a certain number of children had become very self-effacing and emotionally immature because of this commununity life. They needed privacy within a family framework. Therefore because of this and because of security reasons (the fear of a terrorist attack in a house full of young children in the middle of the night), nowadays, in most Kibbutzim, young children tend to spend the night in their parents home. Around 11 or later they can leave their parents' house and share a room with a friend in a children house. But usually they keep a bed in their parents' home and can go back to sleep there whenever they feel like.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THE JUNGLE : Applied Socialism in Kibbutzim -additional info

Chadadaneille,
I agree on the importance of children living with their family. I think that the strength of any nation begins with the strength of the family unit. After all, that is a mini society of its own. So much of what we learn, good or bad starts there but when there are good strong families ties, I think children can grow up and apply those to bigger social settings. We all need very close human ties, somewhere to belong, a family of some kind, be it a family with a mom and dad and the kids, or a single parent with their child or children. We need those things. We talked about the house in the book representing a safe base for the family to go out into the world from, but actually, its not the building, its the relationships within it. Then, you are right, a time comes to strike out on your own, but you can always have that family base to turn to and maybe start your own too. Small community living, with families together in their own space and small communal living seem to be a different thing huh?

Chadadanielle wrote speaking of kibbutz living:
......Some studied showed that a certain number of children had become very self-effacing and emotionally immature because of this commununity life. They needed privacy within a family framework.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Fanuzzir : An apology. To the class/ me too!

Choisya and I both agree that if our talks are keeping others from posting, maybe on other aspects of the book that they would like to, or chapters or questions, then we need to stop for awhile and let you guys speak up unfettered. I apologize too for what may have put others off from commenting and will still be here eager to hear anything from the rest of you. I will let you take the lead and comment then too maybe. Maybe a little less rambunctious too, ok? :smileywink: waiting to hear from those we know are reading lol.

Choisya wrote:
Fanuzzir: I understand from 'inside information' that the political discussions between Vivico and myself have upset other readers and they have therefore withdrawn, or are just reading but not contributing to posts. I wish to apologise for this and for 'raining on your parade' as it were. As you know, my background is in politics and I see many things through a political 'lens' so I 'homed in' on those aspects of this novel. If I withdraw now perhaps the other background readers will still have the time to engage more in the aspects of the novel which they find interesting.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: Fanuzzir : An apology.



Choisya wrote:
Fanuzzir: I understand from 'inside information' that the political discussions between Vivico and myself have upset other readers and they have therefore withdrawn, or are just reading but not contributing to posts. I wish to apologise for this and for 'raining on your parade' as it were. As you know, my background is in politics and I see many things through a political 'lens' so I 'homed in' on those aspects of this novel. If I withdraw now perhaps the other background readers will still have the time to engage more in the aspects of the novel which they find interesting. Thanks for your own interesting comments - I look forward to reading that book!




I wouldn't blame either you or Viv: it's Sinclair's fault for writing a repetitive novel. People got turned off by the transparency of the plot, not a political discussion; they could have avoided it and stuck to other posts.
Thank you very very much for that wonderful book. I received it today and was very intrigued right away. I also thank you for such a sustained dialogue on the past and future of labor and other leftist issues in the US and UK.
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fanuzzir
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Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: THE JUNGLE : Fanuzzir : Definitions of Communism & Communist States/communes and more

Choisya wrote:

Vivico: I can't remember the bit in the book where a character says that Christ was a socialist but I do know many Christian Socialists here (Tony Blair is one) who think that what Christ taught was socialism - the brotherhood of man, love thy neighbour as thyself etc. That doesn't make him a socialist of course. So yes, you are right to say that Christ came before modern socialism, although of course the Greeks also wrote about the philosophy of it and some would say that Jesus was following on from earlier Greek teachings which had come to the Middle East via the Romans.

I had read about the Mormons and I believe there are other Christian comunities in the US who live a communal life, presumably based on biblical teachings on brotherhood etc. The Amish, for instance?

I love this discussion of communal living, and thank Danielle for her revealing her experience. Also Viv, if you are a westerner, you might have first hand knowledge of the Mormons. They remain a fascinating religion with many mythic American themes to their doctrine.

As for Christ: yes he was enlisted by the labor movements of the early twentieth century. There was a Catholic socialist in the US whose name I forget who got quite a following with his radical politics. And there is the novel Christ in Concrete, which is about bricklayers, economic justice, and you guessed it. I've never read it but people who love urban novels of the early 20th century say it is their favorite.
Bob
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vivico1
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Re: Fanuzzir : An apology.


fanuzzir wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Fanuzzir: I understand from 'inside information' that the political discussions between Vivico and myself have upset other readers and they have therefore withdrawn, or are just reading but not contributing to posts. I wish to apologise for this and for 'raining on your parade' as it were. As you know, my background is in politics and I see many things through a political 'lens' so I 'homed in' on those aspects of this novel. If I withdraw now perhaps the other background readers will still have the time to engage more in the aspects of the novel which they find interesting. Thanks for your own interesting comments - I look forward to reading that book!




I wouldn't blame either you or Viv: it's Sinclair's fault for writing a repetitive novel. People got turned off by the transparency of the plot, not a political discussion; they could have avoided it and stuck to other posts.
Thank you very very much for that wonderful book. I received it today and was very intrigued right away. I also thank you for such a sustained dialogue on the past and future of labor and other leftist issues in the US and UK.


The only problem tho Fanuzzi , and Choisya and I noticed it was, there were VERY few other post to go to besides ours.lol. Thats why we decided to sit back and wait for posts to respond to instead of our own. :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Choisya
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Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: THE JUNGLE

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200707:23 PM

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fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: THE JUNGLE : Fanuzzir : 'Withering away' (OFF TOPIC) & Chapter 31

I'll get to the article, but I do remember the Thatcher declaration. It remains one of the most chilling but effective programs of de-socialization.
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Choisya
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Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: THE JUNGLE : Fanuzzir : People of the Lie

Fanuzzir: Have you read People of the Lie by Scott Peck? It seems a very damning indictment of American democracy today, according to this review:-

http://www.yuricareport.com/RevisitedBks/How%20to%20Detect%20Evil.htm

Ziki is asking for it to be discussed after they have finished his other book 'The Road Less Travelled'. I do not know this author so would welcome your opinion.
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fanuzzir
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Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: THE JUNGLE : Fanuzzir : People of the Lie

I'm surprised by this gloss, as I thought Scott Peck was a self-help author. The vitiation of the truth in foreign wars--that's a theme that goes back to Vietnam, when the U. S. really found itself at war with civilians. It also puts me in mind of a very enjoyable, if that is the word book called When Presidents Lie, which recounts the Vietnam War lies in all their mendacity. Thank you for the reference.
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Choisya
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Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Fanuzzir : Help & Information thread : THE JUNGLE and Political Discussion.

[ Edited ]
Fanuzzir: Have you seen the posts in the Help & Information thread regarding the political discussion in The Jungle, and the solution that BillP is proposing regarding having a separate Political Science section where all political posts should be put? There is also a suggestion that Feminist criticism should be similarly relegated, no doubt religious discussion will be the next to be 'censored' and then where will folks' current discussion in Moby Dick be:smileysad::smileysad:

I realise that the political discussion on these threads has been somewhat 'heavy' and probably some of it should have been in the Community Room or under the Context and background, thread only but I assumed that you would wade in and take people in hand if you thought their posts were inappropriate.

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-23-200705:56 AM

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fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Separate sections for politics?

[ Edited ]
I for one would have nothing to say about literature is such an arrangement was instituted. We just have to be considerate of others, and put a separate thread for each book with political and social contexts. The only problem with the Jungle discussion is that not as many people as would have liked read the novel.

Message Edited by fanuzzir on 01-22-200705:18 PM

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zman
Posts: 101
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Separate sections for politics?

Being a latecomer to the discussion of "The Jungle", it's taken me a while to read through all the threads, so forgive me if I'm making a point that's probably been covered.

It seems to me that a great deal of misunderstanding can occur when there aren't specific definitions of volatile words like "socialism" and "capitalism". The extreme socialism of Sinclair is something wholly different from the socialistic tendencies of most modern-day governments.

In another thread, I gave my own broad definition of socialism: the redistribution of wealth by taxation for the betterment of society. Every civilization throughout history has exercised some form of socialism in this sense: the pooling of resources for projects that could not be undertaken by an individual or small group of individuals. It is, in fact, one of the defining features of human civilization.

Sinclair ran for public office several times in California. He ran for Congress twice in the 1920's under the Socialist ticket, and then made a gubinatorial bid in 1934 as a Democrat. Here's what he had to say about those bids much later in his life:

"The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them."

I'm not certain what he means by the "Big Lie" here, but it probably has to do with his own vitriolic definition of capitalism. Liberals have a tendency to accuse conservatives of seeing things in black and white, when in fact the extremists on both sides can have a single-minded sort of tunnel vision that excludes any kind of nuance.
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fanuzzir
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Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Big Lie

The Big Lie that Sinclair is referring to is that supporters of the capitalist status quo have made socialism akin to communism: abhorrent, despotic, and state-controlled. Socialism does not include any provisions for progressive taxation; it's actually a vision of collective ownership at its most extreme, and for equal access to opportunity at its most benign. In between are arguments that certain inalienable rights, like health care and a living wage, should not have to be negotiated by or within the marketplace. (The fact that we have a minimum wage set by the federal government is a socialist principle; universal health care in Britain and Canada is a socialist policy.) Sinclair formed his opinion of capitalism early in life when capitalism meant trusts, and ruinous collaboration between a corrupt government and corporate patronage. I have a feeling that he would have like to see capitalism without the trusts and monopolies and without the corporate welfare. That's what socialists call "capitalism with a human face."
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